Social Studies Worksheets and Study Guides Fifth Grade. Purposes of Government

The resources above cover the following skills:

National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies (NCSS)
CIVIC IDEALS AND PRACTICES
SOCIAL STUDIES PROGRAMS SHOULD INCLUDE EXPERIENCES THAT PROVIDE FOR THE STUDY OF THE IDEALS, PRINCIPLES, AND PRACTICES OF CITIZENSHIP IN A DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC.
KNOWLEDGE - Learners will understand:
Concepts and ideals such as: individual dignity, liberty, justice, equality, individual rights, responsibility, majority and minority rights, and civil dissent.
Key practices involving the rights and responsibilities of citizenship and the exercise of citizenship (e.g., respecting the rule of law and due process, voting, serving on a jury, researching issues, making informed judgments, expressing views on issues, and collaborating with others to take civic action).
The origins and function of major institutions and practices developed to support democratic ideals and practices.
Key past and present issues involving democratic ideals and practices, as well as the perspectives of various stakeholders in proposing possible solutions to these issues.
PROCESSES - Learners will be able to:
Identify and describe the role of citizen in various forms of government, past and present.
Analyze and evaluate the effectiveness of various forms of civic action influencing public policy decisions that address the realization of civic ideals.
TIME, CONTINUITY, AND CHANGE
SOCIAL STUDIES PROGRAMS SHOULD INCLUDE EXPERIENCES THAT PROVIDE FOR THE STUDY OF THE PAST AND ITS LEGACY.
KNOWLEDGE - Learners will understand:
The history of democratic ideals and principles, and how they are represented in documents, artifacts and symbols.
POWER, AUTHORITY, AND GOVERNANCE
SOCIAL STUDIES PROGRAMS SHOULD INCLUDE EXPERIENCES THAT PROVIDE FOR THE STUDY OF HOW PEOPLE CREATE, INTERACT WITH, AND CHANGE STRUCTURES OF POWER, AUTHORITY, AND GOVERNANCE.
KNOWLEDGE - Learners will understand:
Rights are guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution, the supreme law of the land.
Fundamental ideas that are the foundation of American constitutional democracy (including those of the U.S. Constitution, popular sovereignty, the rule of law, separation of powers, checks and balances, minority rights, the separation of church and state, and Federalism).
Fundamental values of constitutional democracy (e.g., the common good, liberty, justice, equality, and individual dignity).
PROCESSES - Learners will be able to:
Ask and find answers to questions about power, authority and governance in the region, nation, and world.
Examine persistent issues involving the rights of individuals and groups in relation to the general welfare.
National Standards for Civics and Government (NSCG)
What are civic life, politics, and government? What is civic life? What is politics? What is government? Why are government and politics necessary? What purposes should government serve?
Defining civic life, politics, and government. Students should be able to explain the meaning of the terms civic life, politics, and government. To achieve this standard, students should be able to
Describe politics as the ways people whose ideas may differ reach agreements that are generally regarded as binding on the group, e.g., presenting information and evidence, stating arguments, negotiating, compromising, voting
Necessity and purposes of government. Students should be able to evaluate, take, and defend positions on why government is necessary and the purposes government should serve. To achieve this standard, students should be able to
Evaluate competing ideas about the purposes government should serve, e.g.,
Furthering the interests of a particular class or group
What are civic life, politics, and government? What are the essential characteristics of limited and unlimited government?
Limited and unlimited governments. Students should be able to describe the essential characteristics of limited and unlimited governments. To achieve this standard, students should be able to
Identify historical and contemporary examples of limited and unlimited governments and justify their classification, e.g.,
Limited governments--United States, Great Britain, Botswana, Japan, Israel, Chile
What are the foundations of the American political system? What is the American idea of constitutional government?
The American idea of constitutional government. Students should be able to explain the essential ideas of American constitutional government. To achieve this standard, students should be able to
Explain essential ideas of American constitutional government as expressed in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and other writings, e.g.,
The people are sovereign; they are the ultimate source of power
Evaluate, take, and defend positions on current issues involving constitutional protection of individual rights, such as
Limits on speech, e.g., ''hate speech,'' advertising, libel and slander, ''fighting words''
Cruel and unusual punishment, e.g., death penalty
Privacy, e.g., fingerprinting of children, national identification cards, wiretapping, DNA banks
What are the foundations of the American political system? What are the distinctive characteristics of American society?
Diversity in American society. Students should be able to evaluate, take, and defend positions on the value and challenges of diversity in American life. To achieve this standard, students should be able to
Evaluate ways conflicts about diversity can be resolved in a peaceful manner that respects individual rights and promotes the common good
What are the foundations of the American political system? What is American political culture?
American identity. Students should be able to explain the importance of shared political values and principles to American society. To achieve this standard, students should be able to
Explain that an American's identity stems from belief in and allegiance to shared political values and principles rather than from ethnicity, race, religion, class, language, gender, or national origin, which determine identity in most other nations
Identify basic values and principles Americans share as set forth in such documents as the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, the Gettysburg Address
Explain why it is important to the individual and society that Americans understand and act on their shared political values and principles
The character of American political conflict. Students should be able to describe the character of American political conflict and explain factors that usually prevent violence or that lower its intensity. To achieve this standard, students should be able to
Explain some of the reasons why political conflict in the United States, with notable exceptions such as the Civil War, labor unrest, civil rights struggles, and the opposition to the war in Vietnam generally has been less divisive than in many other nations. These include
Many opportunities to influence government and to participate in it
Acceptance of the idea of majority rule tempered by a respect for minority rights
What are the foundations of the American political system? What values and principles are basic to American constitutional democracy?
Fundamental values and principles. Students should be able to explain the meaning and importance of the fundamental values and principles of American constitutional democracy. To achieve this standard, students should be able to
Explain the meaning and importance of each of the following values considered to be fundamental to American public life
Justice
Equality
Openness and free inquiry
Truth
Conflicts among values and principles in American political and social life. Students should be able to evaluate, take, and defend positions on issues in which fundamental values and principles are in conflict. To achieve this standard, students should be able to
Describe conflicts among fundamental values and principles and give historical and contemporary examples of these conflicts, such as
Conflicts between liberty and equality, e.g., liberty to exclude others from private clubs and the right of individuals to be treated equally
Explain why people may agree on values or principles in the abstract but disagree when they are applied to specific issues
Agreement on the value of freedom of expression but disagreement about the extent to which expression of unpopular and offensive views should be tolerated, e.g., neo-Nazi demonstrations, racial slurs, profanity, lyrics that advocate violence
Disparities between ideals and reality in American political and social life. Students should be able to evaluate, take, and defend positions on issues concerning ways and means to reduce disparities between American ideals and realities. To achieve this standard, students should be able to
Identify some important American ideals, e.g., liberty and justice for all, an informed citizenry, civic virtue or concern for the common good, respect for the rights of others
Explain the importance of ideals as goals, even if they are not fully achieved
Explain ways in which discrepancies between reality and the ideals of American constitutional democracy can be reduced by
Individual action
Political action
How does the government established by the constitution embody the purposes, values, and principles of American democracy? How are power and responsibility distributed, shared, and limited in the government established by the United States Constitution?
Sharing of powers between the national and state governments. Students should be able to explain how and why powers are distributed and shared between national and state governments in the federal system. To achieve this standard, students should be able to
Identify the major parts of the federal system
National government
How does the government established by the constitution embody the purposes, values, and principles of American democracy? What does the national government do?
Financing government through taxation. Students should be able to explain the necessity of taxes and the purposes for which taxes are used. To achieve this standard, students should be able to
Explain why taxation is necessary to pay for government
Identify provisions of the United States Constitution that authorize the national government to collect taxes, i.e., Article One, Sections 7 and 8; Sixteenth Amendment
Identify major sources of revenue for the national government, e.g., individual income taxes, social insurance receipts (Social Security and Medicare), borrowing, taxes on corporations and businesses, estate and excise taxes, tariffs on foreign goods
Identify major uses of tax revenues received by the national government, e.g., direct payment to individuals (Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, Aid to Families with Dependent Children), national defense, interest on the federal debt, interstate highways
How does the government established by the constitution embody the purposes, values, and principles of American democracy? How are state and local governments organized and what do they do?
Organization and responsibilities of state and local governments. Students should be able to describe the organization and major responsibilities of state and local governments. To achieve this standard, students should be able to
Identify major sources of revenue for state and local governments, e.g., property, sales, and income taxes; fees and licenses; taxes on corporations and businesses; borrowing
How does the government established by the constitution embody the purposes, values, and principles of American democracy? How does the American political system provide for choice and opportunities for participation?
Political parties, campaigns, and elections. Students should be able to explain how political parties, campaigns, and elections provide opportunities for citizens to participate in the political process. To achieve this standard, students should be able to
Explain ways individuals can participate in political parties, campaigns, and elections
What are the roles of the citizen in American democracy? What is citizenship?
The meaning of citizenship. Students should be able to explain the meaning of American citizenship. To achieve this standard, students should be able to
Explain the important characteristics of citizenship in the United States. Specifically, citizenship
Is legally recognized membership in a self-governing community
Confers full membership in a self-governing community--there are no degrees of citizenship or of legally tolerated states of inferior citizenship in the United States
Confers equal rights under the law
Is not dependent on inherited, involuntary groupings such as race, gender, or ethnicity
Confers certain rights and privileges, e.g., the right to vote, to hold public office, to serve on juries
Explain that Americans are citizens of both their state and the United States
Becoming a citizen. Students should be able to explain how one becomes a citizen of the United States. To achieve this standard, students should be able to
Explain that anyone born in the United States is a U.S. citizen
Explain the distinction between citizens and noncitizens (aliens)
What are the roles of the citizen in American democracy? What are the rights of citizens?
Personal rights. Students should be able to evaluate, take, and defend positions on issues involving personal rights. To achieve this standard, students should be able to
Identify personal rights, e.g., freedom of conscience, freedom to marry whom one chooses, to have children, to associate with whomever one pleases, to live where one chooses, to travel freely, to emigrate
Explain the importance to the individual and to society of such personal rights as
Freedom of expression and association
Freedom of movement and residence
Privacy
Identify and evaluate contemporary issues that involve personal rights, e.g., restricting membership in private organizations, school prayer, dress codes, curfews, sexual harassment, the right to refuse medical care
Political rights. Students should be able to evaluate, take, and defend positions on issues involving political rights. To achieve this standard, students should be able to
Identify political rights, e.g., the right to vote, petition, assembly, freedom of press
Explain the meaning of political rights as distinguished from personal rights, e.g., the right of free speech for political discussion as distinct from the right of free speech to express personal tastes and interests, the right to register to vote as distinct from the right to live where one chooses
Identify major statements of political rights in documents such as the Declaration of Independence, United States Constitution, including the Bill of Rights, state constitutions, and civil rights legislation
Explain the importance to the individual and society of such political rights as
Freedom of speech, press, assembly, and petition
Right to vote and to seek public office
Identify and evaluate contemporary issues that involve political rights, e.g., hate speech, fair trial, free press
Economic rights. Students should be able to evaluate, take, and defend positions on issues involving economic rights. To achieve this standard, students should be able to
Explain the importance to the individual and to society of such economic rights as the right to
Choose one's work, change employment
Copyright and patent
Enter into lawful contracts
Identify and evaluate contemporary issues regarding economic rights, e.g., employment, welfare, social security, minimum wage, health care, equal pay for equal work, freedom of contract
Scope and limits of rights. Students should be able to evaluate, take, and defend positions on issues regarding the proper scope and limits of rights. To achieve this standard, students should be able to
Explain what is meant by the ''scope and limits'' of a right, e.g., the scope of one's right to free speech in the United States is extensive and protects almost all forms of political expression. The right to free speech, however, can be limited if and when that speech seriously harms or endangers others
Explain the argument that all rights have limits
Explain criteria commonly used in determining what limits should be placed on specific rights, e.g.,
Clear and present danger rule
Compelling government interest test
National security
Libel or slander
Public safety
Equal opportunity
Identify and evaluate positions on a contemporary conflict between rights and other social values and interests, e.g., the right of the public to know what their government is doing versus the need for national security, the right to property versus the protection of the environment
What are the roles of the citizen in American democracy? What are the responsibilities of citizens?
Personal responsibilities. Students should be able to evaluate, take, and defend positions on the importance of personal responsibilities to the individual and to society. To achieve this standard, students should be able to
Evaluate the importance of commonly held personal responsibilities, such as
Taking care of one's self
Supporting one's family
Adhering to moral principles
Identify and evaluate contemporary issues that involve personal responsibilities, e.g., failure to provide adequate support or care for one's children, cheating on examinations, lack of concern for the less fortunate
Civic responsibilities. Students should be able to evaluate, take, and defend positions on the importance of civic responsibilities to the individual and society. To achieve this standard, students should be able to
Evaluate the importance of commonly held civic responsibilities, such as
Obeying the law
Respecting the rights of others
Deciding whether and how to vote
Serving as a juror
Evaluate the importance for the individual and society of fulfilling civic responsibilities
Identify and evaluate contemporary issues that involve civic responsibilities, e.g., low voter participation, avoidance of jury duty, failure to be informed about public issues
What are the roles of the citizen in American democracy? What dispositions or traits of character are important to the preservation and improvement of American constitutional democracy?
Dispositions that enhance citizen effectiveness and promote the healthy functioning of American constitutional democracy. Students should be able to evaluate, take, and defend positions on the importance of certain dispositions or traits of character to themselves and American constitutional democracy. To achieve this standard, students should be able to
Explain the importance to the individual and society of the following dispositions or traits of character
Individual responsibility--fulfilling the moral and legal obligations of membership in society
What are the roles of the citizen in American democracy? How can citizens take part in civic life?
Forms of political participation. Students should be able to describe the means by which Americans can monitor and influence politics and government. To achieve this standard, students should be able to
Explain how Americans can use the following means to monitor and influence politics and government at local, state, and national levels
Voting
Knowledge and participation. Students should be able to explain the importance of knowledge to competent and responsible participation in American democracy. To achieve this standard, students should be able to
Evaluate the claim that constitutional democracy requires the participation of an attentive, knowledgeable, and competent citizenry